Trump: Christie ‘totally knew about’ Bridgegate

Trump: Christie ‘totally knew about’ Bridgegate
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Republican presidential front-runner Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpRosenstein expected to leave DOJ next month: reports Allies wary of Shanahan's assurances with looming presence of Trump States file lawsuit seeking to block Trump's national emergency declaration MORE said Monday that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) “totally knew about” the controversial closing of the George Washington Bridge between New York and New Jersey ahead of his 2013 bid for re-election. 

Trump said he "would say there’s less than one percent chance” Christie was unaware of the decision to close lanes on the George Washington Bridge because the call was made by aides who were his former trusted allies.

"The GW Bridge, he knew about it,” Trump said during a speech in Mount Pleasant, S.C., of Christie’s involvement in the scandal, which has been dubbed “Bridgegate.”  

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“How do you have breakfast with people everyday of your lives. … They’re closing up the largest bridge in the world … they’re with them all the time,” Trump continued. “They never said ‘Hey boss, we’re closing up the George Washington Bridge.’ No, they’re talking about the weather right? So he knew about it. … He totally knew about it.” 

Christie has denied having knowledge of the decision to close lanes on the George Washington Bridge, which connects New Jersey and New York. Critics have alleged Christie's administration ordered the lane closures to punish the Democratic mayor of Fort Lee, N.J., for not endorsing the New Jersey governor's 2013 bid for reelection. 

The George Washington Bridge is the most heavily-traveled bridge in the U.S., carrying more than 100 million vehicles per year between New Jersey and New York City.

Trump also criticized Christie for credit downgrades that have occurred during his tenure as New Jersey and for appearing with President Obama to tour damage from Hurricane Sandy in the days before the 2012 election.  

“I thought he was going to vote for Obama,” he said. 

“I think he probably did,” Trump continued, saying he was disappointed that 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney met with Christie after the election.  

“If Christie did that to me, I would have never spoken to him again,” Trump said.  

Trump said he was criticizing Christie, who he described as a friend, because “he hit me really hard” on his comments earlier on Monday about stopping Muslims from traveling to the U.S. after recent terrorist attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, Calif. 

Christie, who has been rising in polls in New Hampshire, said Trump’s call to ban Muslims from traveling to the U.S. shows he does not have the experience that is necessary to be president. 

“Again, this is the kind of thing that people say when they have no experience and don’t know what they’re talking about” Christie said in a Thursday radio interview on "The Michael Medved Show." 

“We do not need to endorse that type of activity, nor should we,” Christie continued. “What we need to do is to increase our intelligence capabilities and activity both around the world and in the homeland.” 

Lisa Hagen contributed to this report.